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Cockerill looks for significant win

Leicester team director Richard Cockerill thinks victory over Leinster in this weekend's Heineken Cup quarter-final would represent one of the club's most significant successes.

The Tigers are English rugby's most decorated club having won nine Aviva Premiership titles as well claiming back-to-back Heineken Cup titles at the start of the last decade. But Cockerill believes a victory at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday would rank near to those titles triumphs - because of the financial restrictions of the salary cap currently placed on English clubs.

"Leicester have done some great things in the past, but I would say it would be quite significant," he said. "The two English clubs that are left in the Heineken Cup, if they were able to have wins this weekend given the restrictions on their squad size and what they can spend on the squads, clearly that would be some achievement."

Cockerill has spoken out on the subject of the salary cap many times before, but the claims it is hurting English clubs' hopes of reaching the latter stages of Europe's premier club competition were underlined last season when only Northampton reached the knockout stage, while free-spending French sides Biarritz and Toulouse reached the final.

This season Leicester have joined Saints in the last eight, but their bid to end a nine-year wait to reclaim the title has been complicated by their daunting trip to the Aviva Stadium.

Leinster have lost just one of their past 16 Heineken Cup matches in Dublin while they won when the sides last met in the 2009 final at Murrayfield.

"It's a hard trophy to win. It's hard enough just to get out of the pool stages and then you've got to manoeuvre and your way through a quarter-final and the knockout stages," Cockerill added.

"I think we would like to win it because it is the biggest trophy of them all.

"We've done it previously, but then the club game and the finances have changed since the times when we won it and even the last final.

"We'd like to win it for obvious reasons but I don't think there's any disgrace in having not won it in the last nine years."


From Belfast Telegraph